At around 2000 on the 10th of October, 2017, two large forces – one from the Coalition of Northern Alliances, the other from Imperium/Legacy (hereafter referred to as the Legacy Federation) – clashed in the system of AX-DOT over a Fortizar timer.
No supercapitals were deployed, but substantial forces of subcapital ships with some capital support were committed to the action. The provisional TO&E is as follows:
Coalition of Northern Alliances (PL, NCdot, Triumvirate and RED Alliance)
- Pandemic Legion – 140 Machariels and 5 Force Auxiliaries (with 20 dreadnoughts held in reserve)
- NCdot – 160 Lokis
- Triumvirate – 130 Machariels
- League Of Unaligned Master Pilots – 100 Gilas
Legacy Federation (TEST, BRAVE and IMP)
- TEST – ~200 Maelstroms + ~35 carriers.
- BRAVE – 85 Maelstroms
- IMP – 500 Feroxes and Jackdaws
Other Notable Forces
- Red Menace Coalition – 150 Feroxes
- CVA and Provi-Bloc – 150 Feroxes
Initially, the fighting over the Fortizar mainly consisted of TEST carriers deploying fighters from range in order to harass the CNA forces. Unfortunately, it is alleged that due to the threat of a PL dreadnought deployment, the TEST FC felt unable to move his carriers in closer and make better use of them. This led to high losses for TEST fighters to the Fortizar point defence system and limited impact on the engagement proper.
The Warm-Up: 4NBN-9
One notable skirmish was an action in 4NBN-9 at 1950, where the IMP Ferox fleet intercepted the NCdot Loki fleet on their way to the battle. Dirk Stetille, a member of the Imperium FC team on the scene, writes: “we encountered NCdot jumping into CZK-ZQ from the wormhole route they took, and fortune had smiled on the Imperium Feroxes here, as we were able to jump into 4NBN-9, consolidate the fleet after our free-burn, and set up a bubble on the CZK gate.”
When NCdot crashed through the gate, battle was immediately joined. As the NCdot fleet was primarily made up of different varieties of Loki, it was difficult to target logi or boosters. This led to a general brawl for some time, with both sides alpha-striking targets off the grid, until NCdot changed focus in an attempt to headshot Imperium fleet anchor Arenthor Doran.
This attempt, unfortunately, failed. In response, the Imperium forces headshot every known NCdot FC on the field. With their command structure thoroughly disabled, they raced to AX-DOT to regroup. In this initial engagement, the Imperium lost 9bn ISK and NCdot lost 19.5bn ISK – a considerable loss for NCdot. The battle report for this skirmish can be found here.
Meanwhile, Back at the Fort…
While this was happening, the TEST/BRAVE force were attempting to pause the Fortizar reinforcement timer with DPS from carrier-borne fighters. These fighters were unable to make a serious impact, with Pandemic Legion Machariels destroying them in short order. Both sides were unwilling to close to contact, and so remained in this stand-off. A few minutes after the Imperium fleet arrived on-grid, the call was made to attack the second Fortizar timer in B-XJX4. The MUXX-4 gate, which the Legacy Federation forces needed to traverse to reach the second timer, was heavily bubbled by Pandemic Legion. Imperium forces became separated from their temporary allies, and had to move out of system to regroup.
At this stage, there were approximately 1550 pilots in local, with a few additional hundred in other systems, either convoying to the fight or undertaking small skirmishes.
By the time the main Imperium forces had returned to the system, CNA had committed to a main fleet action against the TEST/BRAVE force 100km off the MUXX-4 gate, in order to stop them from reaching the second Fortizar timer.
According to INN correspondents in the system, the scene above the gate was chaotic and bloody. Heavy gunfire was reported as the TEST/BRAVE Maelstroms exchanged volleys with PL/Triumvirate artillery Machariels, whilst NCdot Loki’s (now reformed from their initial encounter with the Imperium) kited around the outskirts. Imperium forces jumped to the gate at 30km, first engaging the kiting Loki fleet and sending it into retreat, before turning to the main CNA Machariel force.
After half an hour of fighting in heavy TiDi, the CNA forces were outnumbered and outgunned. Bloodied by the action, they limped into a retreat. Over the course of the engagement, they lost 172 ships, totalling 52.3bn ISK. Meanwhile, Legacy Federation forces were bruised, having lost 354 ships – though at the lower price-tag of 22.7bn ISK. Overall, both sides have claimed victory; whilst the CNA lost the ISK war, they managed to defend both Fortizar timers. Ultimately, the Legacy Federation inflicted a stinging reverse on the CNA over the MUXX-4 gate.
Attention now turns to the leadership of all sides. After abortive deployments to the north by both TEST and the Imperium, rumours of a general north-south war are beginning to gather. Whatever the future holds, INN will keep you updated.
Until then, that was the news on the 10th of October in the AX-DOT system, Catch.